Friday, December 4, 2009

Money as a Means or as an End?

I am following Evan Williams (@ev ) and one of his tweets on Money was compelling to me:
"There are 2 types of Businessman: Those that see Money as a Means and those that see Money as an End."
This is related to my post on Money as Computation , where I intuited that Money must reflect and quantify Computation.
But of course Computation is quite vague and can indeed mean 2 different things: Informational Richness or Instruction.

Either you use Money to create new values and bring growth (i.e. Progress) or you use Money to Instruct people to perform tasks (i.e. Enslavement).

Let's apply that dichotomy to... let's see.... foreigners in the Tokyo IT scene!
Well, let's get it straight: I am fed up with foreigners that claim to be in the business of Technology whereas the only thing they do is seeing Money as an End to buy hands and potentially "pussy". Actually, they are in the Import and Trade business...  Let me explain.
The pattern that is standing out is:
1) They begin to live and work as employees in a local company to learn the language and build a network. Then one day, after they read Robert Kiyosaki's book "Rich Dad Poor Dad ", they decide to start their "own thing" in Technology.
2) They use their previous work to sign business deals as contractor, get a budget, "import" for cheap newly arrived foreign engineers to do the "shit job" and then they take their profits.

So, they are very often in the second case: they don't see money as a Means to bring Technological Progress (i.e. Innovation) but as an End to buy pussy and other pleasures.
The funny thing is that if you look closely, "pussy" is often the engine that makes foreigners come and stay... :)


  1. good post Julian.

    disruptive, compelling but above all true.

    I think that most of the IT foreign guys here in Tokyo, except the ones that are married to Japanese wives, have no taste for technical innovation using computers.
    Their goal is not to create new values, new possibilities to enrich people life using money as a means, but their goal is to satisfy their ego. And the best to accomplish that is to get the ostentatious value of money. So they see money as a end. Agreed.

    Regarding "pussy", what kind?
    Japanese, British, American, Italian...
    Obviously Japanese and bad quality pussy.
    The fur of that small neko-chan is "moja moja".


    That would be also fun to list up a list of those Gaijins. Without disclosing the name. Just suggestive descriptions.

  2. This is quite provocative and that's one of the main features
    Provocation reveals systematically hidden truths.


  3. All your points are correct.
    I agree with all of them.

    I think that money is only an approximation of computation.

    That's why I will add the following thing.

    In linear algebra, I would even say that money is a linear form that takes the vector "computation" (in space-time) as a variable and gives us, as an output its "length", its "intensity" in terms of "value". That value is a scalar that represents the quantity of enthusiasm generated by the computation inside the human brain...

    It s only another possible view that might be incorrect...

  4. By the way, do you not consider yourselves at BunkerSofa like "foreigners in the IT Tokyo scene" ?
    If so, which is your side, "Married to Japanese wives" or "Mojamoja pussy consumer" ?

  5. Sure, BunkerSofa is "foreigners in the IT Tokyo scene" strictly speaking in the sense the members are French nationals.
    But not in the sense of typical gaijins, (closed to the intended meaning of "foreigners in the IT Tokyo scene"in this post) so this post is not about us
    But I remind you that the dichotomy is between progress or instructions.

  6. That was a kind of a joke since I don't like easy simplifications such as dichotomies (come on, even computers don't think that binarily any more!). But that's right, provocation is good, at least it motivates discussion.

    Anyway I seemed to have contracted a moral debt by posting on your blog so here are thoughts your article suggest to me at first sight (not organized - I'm not that well paid !).

    - Following your example it seems indeed that even for a "money-driven" businessman, money is not an end but the mean to reach various other things such as social recognition and sexual satisfaction. Furthermore are those things ends themselves ? It seems to me that they don't, and are means to other purposes that might not be conscient (btw in the light of your "brain=comp." theories, it might become interesting to wonder "are computers aware of their purpose" and "are human brains aware of their purposes). So what would be that purpose ? At the broader range I can think of now, I would say it's about species survival or "self-replication" : in modern "technologically advanced societies" (btw on a recent post you compared "society" with a computer, i would very much appreciate more details on this point of the comparison) - so in "modern" societies "more money" means often greater chances of securing the survival of your descendants - even high-frequence sexual activity might be
    an effect of this empirical rule : it would theoretically increase chances of reproduction.

    - So then the dichotomy is between "progress" and "instructions", where you associate the former with "mean" and the latter with "end" (sorry this is not very clear to me how it is associated, "instructions" would not be the mean of doing something bigger ?).
    Well whatever, I like to think about the meaning behind words and "instruction" might be thought of "teaching" as well as "order" - which as philosopher Gilles Deleuze pointed out are the same ("Every piece of information is a piece of order" or something like that - that's why I don't watch the news !). So it's not a good thing since it makes you a slave but you can choose not to be part of that computer/society (ni dios ni amo!), a rather extreme decision.

    - While I'm not an expert in teleology, the part about money being a mean towards some other end also rouses my mind. Let's say this end would be the "progress", what would it mean ? Actually when looking at the origin of the word it means "the action of walking forward" which intrisically implies no end.. that is indeed the perfect candidate for that sisyphean purpose..

    - But what if we considered technological progress as a mean ? What would be the end behind this ? The achievement of some kind of Ubermensch ?

    Well sorry if I'm just throwing ideas without any structure, this small comment box is not a format favourable to deep inquiries.. I hope however you'll find something useful and continue posting well thought-out articles.

  7. Thanks karamoon ^^

    I admit that this post was very provocative relatively and not that serious in the sense that it was just not argumented. But it is on purpose^^;
    I just wanted to see people's reactions and try a new format but apart from you (and I appreciate a lot the fact that you reacted to my provocation) nobody so far...^^

    Anyway, of course the statement made by the post is false. But like you said, it's at least provocative and I want it to be a value of BunkerSofa.
    Also, there are no truths out there in our world. You can only falsify statements. It's just a matter of time that a temporary truth is to be un-validated.

    I will respond to your comment in more details soon and put more details about the comparison between society and a big computer.

  8. I don't think that this post is wrong but anyway.

    I think, to respond briefly to the post of that "Anonymous" ^^, that the purpose of humankind was to reproduce itself when humankind was biological.
    I mean human beings are still, nowadays biological but not for very long...if you know what I mean.
    Assuming that the "technological singularity" happens quickly, we ll become ultimately full cyborgs, transcending our biology (but not our humanity as Ray Kurzweil likes to say).
    So I would say that the purpose of humankind in this next paradigm (where humans are fully informatized) is to spread, not its genes, but its information (its memes).
    And I think they are many more memes than genes, which would make our world even richer and amazing...

  9. Hmm, this interests me. I'm not one that knows all that much about technology (more than average, I will claim, but certainly not an expert in any particular field. I'm more of an art type). Money though, that's a different story. I am 19 and I have ran my own business for about five years(which I will not disclose) and I must say that money is both a means and an end. It replicates itself in the form of a cycle. You keep using money to get money then use the money you get to make more money. There is always someone you step on to get further ahead, always. Someone is getting screwed somewhere. I go to the producer, and then sell it to the consumer. The consumer pays more than me (which is how I make money) because I have the connections, I have the money to buy in large quantities, and I am willing to take the risks involved in buying big and also I take my time to sell my product. Why do I do this? For money, which I use to fill my pleasures. They buy my product to fill their pleasures.
    Humans are made this way. Constantly seeking pleasure; it is our goal. There is nothing we do that we do to not increase our pleasure. Even giving up something that makes us happy, like donating to charity, makes us happy in other ways. I give up one pleasure for another because I see it will be more pleasing to have that pleasure.
    Here is the final part of my comment. I said earlier that someone(s) must be stepped on to go further, but who is at the top? Answer that I believe: no one. Who am I without my customers? Who are the producers without me? Who are the customers without the producers and distributers? You see, all of this is a cycle. take one peice out and the system fails. It breaks down and falls to ruin. Now you think (I'm getting to much into economics, which I also am not expert at. Please stay with me one moment) about all these circles interlocking and like cogs and gears in a clock. Take a peice out and the whole structure must once again be rearranged for everything to work. Take out too many peices and you reduce to the point where it does not work anymore, but that won't happen. Too many peices. Only total destruction will make this happen, and we (humans) won't let that happen...will we?

  10. tks for your view on money.
    you are only 19 y and you are making already money and on top of that, it s been 5 years, right.
    that s cool.
    Well nothing surprising. You're using your brain and your computational power to process information and invent new "brainware"=new memes sets.
    And that has some "value" because people don't have those memes that you do.

    So here, people would think that I am using a paradigm where money is just a unit to exchange value?
    But what's value?
    Can you implement that notion into a computer?
    Because it s vague and ambiguous.

    But why it matters to be able to implement that notion into a computer?
    Because we wanna be able to automatize those processes once we got bored.

    You said we always look for pleasure.
    That s true.
    Pleasure is a kind of sort of "brainware" that makes you feel good.
    But on the other hand, we can get bored very quickly because we don't like doing the same things over and over again.
    Because the human brain purpose as a kind of computer is to extract patterns in order to reduce the quantity of memory to encode that information.
    The human brain is a patterns recognizer and at the same time an memory compressor
    So I would say that money is a human bit that encodes information that has been compressed by the human brain...
    And that bit goes from one brain to another...